Friday May 25, 2018
Home > News > Economy
Text:| Print|

Amending consumer rights law key to boost consumption

2013-04-25 09:10 Xinhua     Web Editor: Mo Hong'e comment

China's top legislature is reading a draft amendment on the consumer rights law. It is the first time that revisions have been considered since it was enacted 20 years ago.

Over the past two decades, China has turned to be the world's second largest economy and a major global market.

The emergence and development of the Internet has profoundly changed Chinese consumers' consumption patterns. E-commerce is flourishing in China, while the current consumer rights law, enacted in 1993, has no single clause on e-commerce.

The purchasing power of Chinese consumers has significantly increased over the last 20 years, so has consumers' awareness of rights protection.

Chinese media is accustomed to exposing a slew of consumer rights violation cases on March 15, the International Day for Protecting Consumers' Rights, every year. And the recent high-profile target seems to be Apple Inc.

The company was recently asked to apologize to Chinese consumers after it showed indifference to criticism about its discriminatory after-sales services in China.

However, generally speaking, Chinese consumers are at a disadvantaged position compared with sellers. Fraud cases occurred either in shops or e-shops.

Customers always encountered difficulties to get a refund when the products they bought were inferior. Worse, their privacies began to be infringed in this information-era.

Almost half of the clauses of the current consumer rights law are proposed to change this time. The draft stressed protection of consumers' personal information and privacy, increased responsibility of business owners, and regulated online commerce.

The draft amendment also stressed the protection of consumers' right to know, saying sellers should provide authentic and necessary details of their products or services to e-shoppers.

The draft also ensures e-shoppers' right of choice and grants them the right to unilaterally terminate contracts. "Consumers have the right to return goods within seven days and get a refund," according to the proposal.

Online shoppers are entitled to ask for compensation from the e-trade platform if the seller has stopped using the platform," the draft said, adding the platform can claim compensation from the seller after compensating e-shoppers.

The draft provides clarification on the protection of personal information, as personal information leaks have seriously affected the lives of consumers and infringed upon their legal rights.

Consumers are entitled to have their name, portraits and privacy protected. Business runners should get consumers' consent before collecting and using consumers' personal data, according to the draft amendment.

The draft amendment, aiming to further protect the rights and interests of the world's largest consuming group, is particularly important for China's current economy.

With exports to the financial crisis-hit West affected, export-driven Chinese growth is relying more on domestic consumption.

Though there are many factors affecting individual's willingness of consumption, such as soaring housing prices and an imperfect social welfare system, the draft amendment, if adopted, will surely make the consumer's consumption experience more enjoyable and the consumption environment safer.

Thus, consumption could be stimulated and that is good news for China's economy.

Comments (0)

Copyright ©1999-2011 All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.